Superstorm Sandy has caused major and extensive damages to many areas of New Jersey. During this type of natural disaster, a common result is displaced property. When property is displaced in this type of circumstance, looting becomes a common scenario. While looting may include the taking of goods, it is different than burglary.
A burglary charge generally requires the breaking and entering into a dwelling, while looting typically refers to the taking of goods during a certain type of circumstance. The critical differences between the terms may be essential in recent burglary arrest.
The burglary arrest involved two men from New Jersey and another man who resided out of state. The suspicion of burglary was secondary to the initial reason for police intervention. The three men were traveling on a highway in two separate vehicles. The police noticed one of the vehicles had stolen license plates and attempted to perform a traffic stop of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle did not after police intervention, but instead began a high speed chase.
During the chase, the driver collided with a police car and injured two police officers. The vehicle was eventually stopped and the driver was arrested. The second vehicle that contained two of the three burglary suspects was traveling near the first car when the police intervention occurred. The second vehicle attempted to flee, but was stopped without incident.
After the vehicles were stopped and inspected, the police discovered the vehicles contained stolen property. The stolen property was suspected of being part of a reported burglary. Although the men were arrested and charged with burglary, it is still unknown if the property in question is from the reported burglary or looting of displaced items after the storm. While prosecutors are quick to seek the more serious charge, an attorney can ensure that the determination of facts shows that a lesser charge is necessary or that there is a reason they should be dropped altogether.
Source: Newsday, “3 arrested in Roslyn Heights burglary,” John Valenti, Nov. 9, 2012